Bittersweet

Share Button

Somewhere I read recently that the phrase “bittersweet” is first attributed to Sappho. She knew how to turn a melancholy metaphor. St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra cellist Grant Riew uses the phrase to describe what it feels like to leave his fellow musicians for Harvard in the fall. You can read the complete YO III concert program notes, written by the musicians themselves, here: click. And here are Grant’s reflections:

Grant Riew
Grant Riew

“I’ve been in the YO for five years. It’s a little bittersweet to say goodbye. I’ve looked forward to every Saturday rehearsal with the YO. I remember my first time on stage—the stage where Yo-Yo Ma, Daniel Lee, David Robertson, and other great musicians have stood. I still get that feeling.

“My strongest friendships have been in YO. I think of all the connections I’ve made—with David Robertson, with Yo-Yo Ma, with members of the orchestra. Through the Beyond Rehearsal activities, the YO has really evolved.”

The final St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra concert of the season is Saturday, May 30 at 8pm. Bernstein’s Candide Overture, Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto performed by YO Concerto Competition Winner Aleksis Martin, and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade. Steven Jarvi conducts.

Birth of the Russian Cool

Share Button

I’m not sure if this will be the set up for the concerts this weekend, but during rehearsals for the Shostakovich Concerto No. 1 for Piano, Trumpet and Strings, Karin Bliznik was on a stool near pianist Stewart Goodyear. And there was something about that stool in the approximate vicinity of the piano, and Bliznik’s posture, which inspired a vision of the young Chet Baker, hip and beautiful and on the beat. Only in a Russian way.

And before you all catch me on this, I will admit now a big mistake in the program notes,which are my responsibility. Rimsky-Korsakov did not compose Scheherazade in 1933. He wrote it in 1888. He was not contemporary to Shostakovich, but predecessor. Like Pete Kozma, may I be redeemed.